Identifying Plants, Insects, and Diseases

The first step in dealing with any pest or disease issue is correct identification. Correct ID allows the most effective control methods to be selected and saves time, resources, and money. What follows is a list of contacts and resources that can help with the identification of plants, insects, and plant diseases within Indiana. Due to regional differences in flora, insects, and diseases, if you are outside of Indiana, please contact your local extension service or diagnostic lab for assistance.

Division of Entomology and Plant Pathology

While this office is primarily concerned with invasive and exotic plants, insects, and diseases and problems associated with the nursery and landscape industry, homeowners with specific concerns can submit photos to DEPP@dnr.in.gov or contact the Nursery Inspectors directly.

Purdue Extension County Offices

Your local County Extension office can assist with many household and garden questions. Purdue Extension publications are a source of up-to-date, research-based control recommendations.

Purdue University Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab (PPDL)

The PPDL is Indiana’s resource for identification of insects, plants, and plant diseases as well as diagnosis of plant and pest problems. PPDL does charge a small fee for sample handling.

Suggestions for submitting digital photos:

  • Sharp, in-focus, well-lit photos will be most useful. Please double check your photos before you submit them.
  • When possible, please include size reference. A coin or a dollar bill work very well.
  • For plant identifications, please include a whole plant image as well as close-ups of plant parts (leaves, flower, fruit, etc.)
  • Please include as much additional information as possible such as: host species, planting date, age of plant, chemicals used, number of plants affected, where found, patterns, when symptoms first noticed, etc.